Given Kate Winslet’s titanically tragic history with open water, you’d think she’d be a bit more reticent dipping her toes back in.
But the Oscar-winner is going deep for “Avatar 2,” which reunites her with “Titanic” director James Cameron for the much-anticipated sequel projected to premiere Dec. 17, 2022, after a series of delays.
Much of the new film’s action seemingly takes place underwater, as playing the new character Ronal required Winslet to train extensively for the part.
“I had to learn how to free-dive to play that role in ‘Avatar,’ and that was just incredible. My longest breath-hold was seven minutes and 14 seconds, like crazy, crazy stuff.” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “Yeah, I play a water person. I am a water person.”
And now we have a visual of Winslet’s motion-capture performance, with producer Jon Landau sharing a photo of the actor on Monday submerged in what he previously described as a custom 900,000-gallon water tank.
In the photo, Winslet stands at the bottom of the tank with the help of a weighted belt with her arms outstretched and outfitted with some kind of fabrics.
Winslet’s character is presumably part of the Na’vi clan known as Metkayina, which will be introduced in the sequel and primarily resides on the planet Pandora’s reefs and oceans.
Joining Winslet in the sequel is “Fear of the Walking Dead” star Cliff Cutis, who will play Metkayina leader, Tonowari, as well as Edie Falco, Michelle Yeoh and Jermaine Clement.
The stars of the original film ― Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, CCH Pounder and Sigourney Weaver ― are also set to return, with the “Alien” star recently describing the challenges shooting underwater sequences.
Weaver said she practiced with an expert who trains “elite military divers” to allow her to hold her breath underwater for as much as six minutes and learned “to recline on the ocean floor while manta rays glided over her.”
And when she did run out of oxygen a team of professional divers “sped her back to the surface for air at brief, regular intervals.”
“I had some concerns,” Weaver told The New York Times. “But that’s what the training was for. And I really wanted to do it. I didn’t want anyone to think, ‘Oh, she’s old, she can’t do this.’”
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